What Are Rudraksha Beads?

Rudraksha beads are the seeds from a number of Elaeocarpus trees, which have their origin in ancient Vedic legend - "Lord Shiva was meditating on how to relieve the troubles of the world, while doing so warm tears of compassion fell from his eyes. These tears upon reaching the ground became the Rudraksha trees. Since then, the devotees of lord Shiva have used these sacred beads for japa and meditation.” - Shiva Purana - Considered powerful spiritual objects across Asia for thousands of years, they’re classically used in yoga, tantra, meditation, traditional ayurvedic medicine and even feng shui.

Trees bearing Rudraksha seeds are found throughout Asia, with most originating in and around Indonesia. Beads found in Nepal are generally considered to be of the highest quality, due to their superior form and are thought to contain more power.

Ten Mukhi Rudraksha

TYPES & MUKHI

Rudraksha beads show a variation in the number of faces or "mukhis” they have on their surface. These faces are separated by small natural grooves, with the number of faces determining the rarity, worth and properties of the rudraksha. The most common form of rudraksha is the five mukhi, which symbolises the five faces of the greatest Yogi, Lord Shiva.

Just as each rudraksha has a varying number of faces they’re also believed to have a variety of different properties. Each bead has a specific deity associated with and represented by the bead and thus has different uses, as well as mantras for their meditation.

FacesDeityDescriptionMantra
1ShivaBestows the status, demeanour and wealth of kings. Improves concentration and focus in meditation.
Aum Namah Shivaya
2Ardhanarishvara - Shiva & ShaktiUsed in the attainment of yogic and mystical prowess as well as improving relationships and sex life.
Aum Namah
3Agni and the Trimurti
Destroys past, present and future karma as well as bringing peace to the wearer.
Aum Klim Namah
4BrahmaImproves intelligence and brings focus to the wearer's mind.Aum Brahmaya Namah
5Kaalagni Rudra
Symbolising the five elements, this bead calms and balances the elements in the chakras, making the wearer focused and peaceful.
Aum Namah Shivaya
6Kartikaya
Wearing this rudraksha is said bring mental and physical discipline and power. as well as confidence
Aum Namah Shivaya Kartikaya Namah
7Lakshmi and Kamadeva
When worn this Rudraksha brings you the favour of the god of love and sex and when kept in a money box bestows the blessing of the goddess of fortune, Maha Lakshmi.
Aum Sri Maha-Lakshmi Namah
8Ganesha
Should be worn when starting new businesses or travelling, it is said brings about the removal of all obstacles and assures everything goes smoothly
Sada Mangala Ganeshaya Namah
9Durga and Bhairava
Used extensively throughout tantra this rare bead is said to bring fearlessness as well as mastery over yogic, tantric & mystic arts.
Maha Shakti Nava Durgaya Namah
10The Ten Forms of Vishnu
The ten mukhi bead is said to bring about luck and bliss amongst those who wear it as well as giving the favour of the ten forms of Lord Vishnu.
Bhagavan Vishnuve Namah
11Hanuman and the Eleven Rudras

Bestows the physical and mental strength of Hanuman as well as mastery over yogic arts.
Aum Hrim Hum Namah
12Twelve Forms of Surya
This rudraksha is said to bring about the fame and power possessed by Surya, the sun god.
Aum Surya Devaya Namah

FAKE RUDRAKSHAS

Rudraksha beads can be faked in a variety of ways, with the most common method being carving them from another seed or wood.

Existing beads can also modified to look rarer and more valuable. This is done by etching more grooves onto the surface of the bead to make them seem like an unusual or more sought after formation, changing their colour and even filling the insides of the bead with a small amount of filler or cement. This not only makes them seem heavier and more substantial but, by trapping the air inside the bead, they float. These floating beads help to fuel the common misconception that a genuine rudraksha should always float in a glass of water.

The only way to assure that a rudraksha is completely genuine is to have it lab tested and certified.